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Sick and tired of being compared to Obama?

April 5, 2009

We are not saying that we should be emulating whatever is being done south of the border. We are saying that Canada needs to be in position to compete globally, as this is getting much much harder with the new US administration. Why?

Because they (The Harvard, Chicago, Berkeley etc…folks around Obama) know that we are in a global war for talent. They experienced it first hand when they were university/labs/institutes presidents and administrators. We believe that they are trying to recreate the post WW2 buzz about the US being the Eldorado for thinkers, creators and innovators, and betting on sucking all the  talent wherever in the world they can find it. This is the only way one can explain the announced huge jumps in US S&T funding… The added psychological effect for the scientific world community to notice. They are open for the business of recruiting anyone with potential out there just like in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Think about their stated mission during this economic crisis:Transform our Economy with Science and Technology”. Is this visionary or what?

Compare this to the psychological impact of our “stimulus budget”. Plenty of cash (and it’s not about the money, stupid), yet the optics of a 5% cut to the Tri-council couldn’t have been more devastating for our world image and our positioning in this global war for talent. The reaction would have been mute if the cuts were part of a government effort to balance a given budget in a given year, and if the US was not going so aggressively after the agents of the new economy.  The budget’s negative message on the R&D front was hugely exacerbated by the fact that it was a stimulus budget after all: a megaphone for the government’s priorities … and non-priorities. I am convinced the government was trying to do the right thing, but boy how much they lacked in seeing the global picture and in communicating vision and excitement. That’s exactly what they need to copy from the Obama (continuing) campaign machine.

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